Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dinner: The Recipes

The big eating is coming towards the end in this meal. When purchasing my brace of coneys from Malta Ridge, I asked for their two largest, which turned out to be kind of a LOT. I did the stewing of the actual meat a week or two ahead of time, because stew freezes so beautifully that there's no reason not to make things easy on yourself.

But, there was so much of the end product that it was days before we could come close to finishing it, and that's after inviting an extra person to this portion of the party and sending heaps of the stuff over to a friend's in a care package. So there's a lesson learned: don't ask for the biggest bunnies.

If you liked the bunny stew but don't want to pay for bunnies (or have issues with eating bunny), just do this with chicken. You can even use a leftover chicken for this method, which is great because you use the whole thing that way. When making chicken stew, I often add peas as well, and make dumplings (basically biscuits that you boil on top of the stew). I definitely recommend them!

The salad was a mix of baby lettuces from the Concourse Market, with sliced radishes and two colors of carrots. I've read that salads were really made with iceberg lettuce in the Victorian era, but sometimes accuracy just needs to bow to personal tastes. There was also a Victorian salad dressing I was going to make, but at the last minute I just plain didn't feel like it; I put out oil and vinegar instead.

Hard boiled eggs are also a staple of Victorian salad eating, but I served mine whole (though shelled) and on the side. I actually steam my eggs when hard-cooking, because it makes them spectacularly easy to shell. Also, shelling eggs is even easier if you get a house-guest to do the job, like I did.

Dinner Menu
stewed brace of coneys ("recipe" below)
hard boiled eggs
strong red wine (à la Gandalf)
root beer and ginger beer (for the non-drinking set)

Stewed Brace of Coneys
2 rabbits
several onions
poultry seasoning
water to cover
1 t. or so peppercorns

10-15 medium po-tay-toes, peeled and chunked
1+ lb. carrots (I used two colors from Gomez Veggie Ville)
1-2 c. little onions (again, shallot-sized), peeled and halved
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped up
salt and pepper to taste

I made this using the same method I used for chicken stew, because rabbits taste so similar to chicken breast meat (no, really!). You put the bunnies in lots of water with stuff that makes the broth taste good. If I'd had extra carrots and some celery, I'd have probably added them at this stage. I boil it for a couple of hours, till the meat seems loose enough to come off the bones easily.

After cooling, I strain the broth (I froze it in a big gallon container). I pick the meat off the bones and cut the big pieces into nice stew chunks and freeze them, too, discarding the veggies and bones.

When it's time to finish the stew, I get the broth going and add everything but the meat. (Bunny meat really is similar to chicken breast, and I wanted it in chunks, not shredded from stirring.) I thought about mushrooms here, but decided against them randomly.

Once the potatoes and carrots and all are cooked, I add in the meat and let it all heat up. Then serve! Om nom nom nom.

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